Douglas Cann – Bemidji Pioneer

Douglas Cann – Bemidji Pioneer

The longtime Bemidji lawyer, Douglas W. Cann, died at his home on January 12, 2022 at the age of 93.

Memorial services will be held at a First Lutheran Church, Bemidji, on Monday, January 17 at 14.00, with Corey Fuhrman officiating. The family will greet friends an hour before the church service.

He was born April 23, 1928, in Blackduck, Minnesota, to Harry E. Cann and Lydia C. (Sorenson) Cann. Doug graduated from Blackduck High School in 1946. He then attended Concordia College, Moorhead and Bemidji State Teachers College, before attending Law School at the University of Minnesota. He graduated from Law School in 1952 with a law degree, and after passing his law degree in Minnesota, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served in the Judge Advocate Generals Department. Most of his time on active duty in the Air Force was spent on the JAG staff at a U.S. air base in England. He had the rank of captain when he was released from active duty.

When he returned from England, Doug immediately began private law practice in Bemidji. In the fall of 1962, he was elected Beltrami County Attorney, a position for which he was re-elected three times, and served until 1978. He continued in private law practice thereafter until his retirement in 2008. His years of practice in Bemidji extended to more than 50 year. Doug married Lois Dickinson in 1965 in Bemidji, Minnesota. They lived on the shores of Lake Julia, where they continued to live to this day. They enjoyed living in the countryside and continue to have livestock on their pastures until now.

Doug and Lois have a son Matthew, who along with his wife, Staci, and their children also live on Lake Julia. Doug has two grandchildren, Levi, who is currently employed in the Minneapolis area, and Morgan, a Bemidji State University student.

Over the years, Doug has been involved in and served in numerous religious, fraternal, civil, and professional organizations. He was a longtime member of the First Lutheran Church and twice, in 1958 and 1982, as chairman of the congregation, as well as several church boards. He was a member of the Masonic Lodge for over 50 years, he was also a member of the Headwaters Shrine Club; member of the Bemidji Rotary Club and served as its president from 1972-73; and a member and formerly exalted ruler of Elks Lodge.

While the County Attorney served Doug as president of the Minnesota County Attorneys Association. He also served on the board of the Minnesota State Bar Association. He was a member of the Beltrami County District and State Bar Associations.

Doug was devoted to his wife, Lois, their son and daughter-in-law, Matt and Staci, and their grandchildren, Levi and Morgan. Family events, birthdays, dinners and vacations as well as boat trips around Lake Julia and trips out into their “hinterland” were of utmost importance to both Doug and Lois. For several years, Doug and Lois spent much of each winter in southwest Florida. As the journey became somewhat more difficult for them, they chose to stay year-round in their home on Lake Julia.

Golf and in previous years tennis as well as skiing, hunting, gardening and reading were among Doug’s many interests besides his law practice. He also enjoyed tending to domestic animals, both horses and cattle, on their pastures.

He leaves behind his wife, Lois Dickinson Cann, son, Matthew Cann; daughter-in-law, Staci Cann; grandchildren, Levi Cann and Morgan Cann; sisters-in-law, Donna Dickinson, Mariann Dickinson and Muffy Dickinson; as well as numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

He died of his parents: his brother, Donald Cann, his sister Eva Mae Regnier; brothers-in-law, Richard Dickinson, Earle Dickinson and John Regnier; sister-in-law Virginia Cann.

Memorials are preferred over First Lutheran Church or Masonic Children’s Hospitals.


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